TOMS founder to visit MC next semester

Toms shoes can be seen being worn by all age ranges over the world. Founder of Toms shoes, Blake Mycoskie will be at the Chaparral Center Tuesday March 24, 2015 at 7:30 P.M.Mycoskie will be speaking as part of the Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series. Midland College has hosted the lecture series since 1996. Lectures are given once every fall and spring.

Mycoskie is most known for being an entrepreneur, philanthropist and author. The Toms shoes company was founded in 2006. Mycoskie has also started an eyeglass brand named One for One. The eyeglasses have the same concept as the shoes. For every one bought, one is given to someone less fortunate.

Mycoskie was invited to speak at MC by Dean of Community Relations and Special Events, Rebecca Bell.

“I’m in touch with several speaking agencies and one of the agencies mentioned to me that they were representing Blake Mycoskie,” Bell said. A committee, on which Bell serves, decides on who to invite to be a part of the lecture series. “I know the students of philanthropy groups here at Midland College had read Mr. Mycoskie’s book, so I mentioned to the committee that he was available and that I thought he would appeal to students,” Bell said.

The lecture series is funded by an endowment that was given to MC by the Davidson family in 1996. Funding is taken from the interest on the donation. A group called the Friends of the Series also donates money to make the lecture series possible.

“They give $1000 a year. They can give money to our performing arts series or our lecture series,” Bell said.

The name Mycoskie may not sound familiar to all students, but his shoe brand might make them more intrigued to hear him speak. “Even though students might not know the name ‘Blake Mycoskie’ they know the name Toms Shoes,” Bell said.

Former people who have spoken for the Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series vary from authors, historians, actors, comedians, musicians and former presidents. “We’ve had former president of Mexico Vicente Fox, Jane Goodall, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Ken Burns, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ben Stein, and our very first one was David McCullough,” Bell said.

The event is open to everyone and all are encouraged to go.

“I think it’s an excellent learning opportunity. They would be very hard pressed to be able to get this anywhere else for free,” MC Executive Vice President Dr. Richard Jolly said.

The Friends of the Series get preferred seating, but there will still be plenty of good seating left. Jolly said, “There isn’t a bad seat in the house. Friends of the Series usually get a yellow or green ticket and they sit on the floor. Anybody else that goes gets a different colored ticket and they sit in the stands in the Chap Center.”

Students are thrilled to get the opportunity to see Mycoskie. “I’m excited to hear what he has to say. I know he does a lot of good, charitable things for people, so it would be nice to see someone so generous in a world that lacks positivity,” MC student Marla Wilson said.

Students are invited to bring whoever they want.Jolly said,”I would highly recommend that everyone go, and that they get a ticket early.”

Some students are already planning on attending and bringing others along.

“I’m definitely bringing my friends. We all have worn Toms Shoes and we support and admire him,” Wilson said. MC staff and students think positively of Mycoskie and praise him for his work.Jolly said, “What a wonderful thing that he’s done. He gives water to underdeveloped communities and it’s fanned out to shoes and eyeglasses. You buy one and for every one he sells, he gives one away. That’s called social responsibility. That’s something we can all learn from.”

Mycoskie will be In Midland during the spring for one night only. Tickets are not required for general admission, but for preferred seating. For more information, visit or call (432) 685-4526.

Drag Queens offer different outlook

Having duct tape, a lace-front wig and a fierce walk is just the beginning of being a drag queen.  The number of drag queens is growing, and they are taking over stages and clubs across the country. When hearing the term ‘drag queen,’ some just think of cross dressers, when being a queen takes much more. In 2009, television network Logo TV aired the first episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

The show has been going strong for six seasons and shows audiences how much work goes into being a drag queen. From what I can tell, queens have a much better wardrobe, makeup and hair style techniques than I do. It’s amazing to see the queens after they “beat” their faces. Some of the contestants from past seasons of Ru Paul’s Drag Race have gone on to make their own music videos, star in other TV shows,  model for clothing companies, and star in music videos for pop artists like Lady Gaga and Ke$ha.

It takes much more than just looking and acting like a girl to be a drag queen. Queens have to have to be funny, know how to act, perform, put outfits together that often require sewing, have a drag name. They have to have a personality larger than life. Queens are so inspiring in many ways because they aren’t afraid or ashamed to be who they want, no matter what anyone says. They work hard to leave their mark on the world and spread their name as far as they can.

Queens don’t give up, no matter how difficult things become. Assuming that majority of drag queens are homosexual or transgender, they get more criticism and face more obstacles than the rest of us. Some of my favorite queens are Courtney Act, Adore Delano, Sharon Needles, Alaska and Bianca Del Rio. My other three favorite queens are from cities close to home and have performed in clubs as close as Lubbock. Miss Alyssa Edwards is from Mesquite, Shangela is from Paris, and Laganja Estranja comes from Dallas.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for drag queens. They encourage eachother and build eachother up instead of kicking them down is inspiring. The amount of love and self respect they have for themselves is contagious. It’s refreshing to see people who have lacked support, love from others, and acceptance believe in themselves and push themselves to accomplish goals and live dreams. I can’t imagine the positive vibes that radiate off of them in person. I feel more positive about everything by just watching them.

There are many celebrities who admire drag queens as much as I do. There is a celebrity wish list for guest judges on season seven of Ru Pauls’s Drag Race. Johnny Depp,Daniel Radcliffe, Iggy Azalea, P!nk, and YouTube stars Tyler Oakley and Shane Dawson are among the 200 on the list.

Their fun personalities spark up a room and have people laughing until it hurts. Queens are dramatic and quirky. They even have their own set of definitions for average words. For a queen, Shade doesn’t mean a place to get out of the sun.

Fish isn’t an animal that swims in water, and sickening is not a bad thing. Their lingo, jokes and opinions might be hard to swallow at times, but can become part of your everyday life. Without realizing it, you won’t go to class in sweats and baggy T-shirts anymore. You’ll be serving couch potato realness. Before asking yourself “is that a girl or guy,” remember that it doesn’t matter because even if they’re a part-time girl, they are still people with jobs, worries, dreams and insecurities just like you.

Zombie scares American audiences

Horror movies, costumes and fear-filled nights are what people expect around Halloween. Here to satisfy is rock star, writer, and director, Rob Zombie who has given America the privilege of attending an event that provides everything anyone could want on Halloween. There are two locations for visitors to attend, Scottsdale, AZ and Villa Park, IL.

Opening night for Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare started in September. The last day to go will be Nov. 1. The hours are 7-10p.m. Thursdays and Sundays. and 7-12p.m.  Fridays and Saturdays

The first two opening nights, Zombie performed for visitors, who headlined with The Devil Wears Prada. Other bands visitors can expect to see are Ghost Town, Vampires Everywhere! and the Butcher babies. Other events included are three attractions at each location. There is also an area named Blood Boulevard where there are freak shows, horror themed refreshments, vendors, music acts and characters that roam around.

Everything is indoors. It is advised to not wear flip flops or high heels. Though the attractions are open to all ages, it is suggested that no one bring anyone under the age of 13 because of how terrifying things can get.

The haunted houses at the Villa Park location include the Haunt of 1000 Corpses, Lords of Salem in Total Black Out, and El Superbeasto in 3D.  The Haunt of 1000 corpses takes visitors through the Museum of Monsters and Madmen, a recreation of the one from Zombie’s movies House of 1000 Corpses. It also includes a murder ride which allows riders to come face-to-face with infamous serial killers like Charles Manson and John Wayne Gacey.

The Lords of Salem attraction takes visitors through a 60-degree maze. According to a video posted on the website, all visitors have a bag placed over their heads throughout the entire maze. Those who are afraid of the dark or who have claustrophobia are advised against going through this attraction.

The El Superbeasto attraction incorporates humor and fright. It is based on another film by Zombie and is an attraction for visitors with faint hearts. It has a surprised entrance and is guaranteed to have visitors laughing and screaming.

The Scottsdale location also has the Lords of Salem attraction. The other haunted houses are The Devil’s Rejects and Captain Spaulding’s Clown School in 3D. Both attractions are based on Zombie’s movies The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses. The Devil’s Rejects attraction makes visitors a part of the group of state troopers who are searching for a family of murderers, the Fireflys. Captain Spaulding’s Clown School is promised to scare the bravest person and make visitors feel as if they are hallucinating.

Those who attend are likely to have a great time. Granted, Zombie is a genius when it comes to making people scream, cringe and jump from fright, his haunted houses are sure to exceed expectations. A website with more information, ticket sales, videos and pictures is

Tickets can be purchased online or at the location’s box office. For general admission, tickets are $25 online and $30 at the box office. There are two VIP ticket options. VIP1 gives visitors a t-shirt and faster access to attractions. VIP2 tickets give visitors a t-shirt and immediate access to attractions. VIP1 tickets are $36 online, $45 at the box office. VIP2 tickets are $50 online and $60 at the box office.

Paranormal activity reported in downtown Midland

Unexplainable sounds, moving objects and disappearing items are just a few experiences some Midland residents and visitors have witnessed at three haunted buildings located on Main Street. Cigar Frogs is a local piano bar that has been serving a variety of music, wine, beer and cigars to its customers since it’s opening in August of 2009. Before opening, owners Joe and Martha Dunham knew the building was haunted from the time they started renovating it.

The first indication they had that assured them something was going on was when one of the people working on the building went to get a chalk line from a table which tools were kept on, and it was missing. He asked the rest of the crew if they had seen or taken the tools and no one had. “Two weeks to the day, they walked in and the chalk line was on the table,” Mrs. Dunham said.

One Sunday the owners and crew were working on décor for the building. “I had laid a pair of scissors down on the bar to go to Michael’s. I came back and the scissors were gone. The bar was closed. When we found them, they were in the back storage room,” Mrs. Dunham said. Another time while renovating, more tools went missing. “I had two, old claw hammers. When we came in the next day they were gone and two others were there that didn’t belong to anyone,” Mr. Dunham said.

The Dunham’s aren’t the only ones who have witnessed anything abnormal in their bar. “We had a young man ask ‘Do y’all have anything unusual happen or things moved around? My family used to own the Jewelry store in this building and we had things like that happen all the time.’ ”, Mrs. Dunham said. Not only have people experienced their things going missing, but some believe to have seen an apparition. “A couple of times, customers have caught glimpse of a young man who is described as Hispanic, young and slim built. I’ve never seen him,” Mrs. Dunham said.

The ghost is called Jack and has never been harmful to anyone who has entered the bar. “He’s not mean, just mischievous,” Mr. Dunham said. Jack has been said to be fascinated with electronics.  “He turns the hand dryers on in the bathrooms and turns off the lights. Water has started running on its own,” Mrs. Dunham said.  “I was in the bathroom and the lights turned off. I yelled, ‘Jack, turn on the lights,’ and they turned back on,” Mr. Dunham added.

The security cameras have never caught evidence of Jack, but has detected that someone was in the building. “The dot that blinks at the upper left (of the security camera), that only blinks when somebody is in the picture. Sometimes there will be no one there, but the light will be blinking,” Mrs. Dunham said. Once, the humidifier in the humidor was turned up while the bar was closed. It was thought to have been a customer, but the security camera showed that no one touched it.

Most of the activity happens in the area between the bar and the sports room. “One time, my husband and a customer were sitting at the bar and a glass slid from one end of the bar to the other, fell and broke,” Mrs. Dunham said. There are glass refrigerators used to store beer located behind the bar that Mrs. Dunham has seen the reflection of someone in while she was the only one there.

A Cigar Frogs employee, Katelyn Craft, who has worked there for over a year believes that there is someone or something that haunts the bar. “Sometimes you’ll walk in and it will feel still. It feels a little uncomfortable, but as soon as you get into your routine it goes away,” Craft said. The lounge area closest the bar has had its share of odd happenings as well.

“We had a group of people sitting right here (lounge area) and one of the light bulbs unscrewed itself and shattered on the ground,” Craft said. She explained that the fan had been on, but at a low setting. Craft has also seen someone in the bar while there alone. “You can just be standing here. It’ll just be you and you can see someone moving around in the humidor through the security cameras,” Craft said.

Craft has also heard noises throughout the building. “You can be here completely by yourself and the doors will sound like they had been opened, but they won’t be open,” Craft said. Once there was a couple who didn’t believe that the bar was haunted. They were sitting around the same area where the light bulb fell, and decorative ivy that was hanging on the wall fell down beside them.

Two of the buildings next to Cigar frogs are said to be haunted too. A former manager of Cigar Frogs was working when two ladies came in who appeared to be flustered. “She (manager) said they were both white as sheets. She asked if she could help them and they asked if they could have a bottle of water and sit down for a few minutes. She asked if something was wrong. And they said yes,” Mrs. Dunham said.

The two ladies were working on the building next door and heard a scream coming from the third floor. They ran upstairs and there was no one there. “They didn’t know they were alone until they got to the third floor and realized they were the only ones there. They said they would never go back,” Mrs. Dunham said.

Another building next door to Cigar Frogs, formerly known as The Ritz is also said to be haunted. Mr. and Mrs. Dunham originally rented the building to start Cigar Frogs but the building was bought by PBS. Before it was bought out, the Dunham’s, along with a group of others including a professional ghost hunter and psychic went into The Ritz to do an investigation.

During the investigation, the psychic felt a presence and asked Mrs. Dunham if the name Jack Dial meant anything to her. “I tried researching that name but never found anything,” Mrs. Dunham said. After the investigation, the people from the group had discovered orbs in photos of The Ritz. One of the people from the group also complained about feeling someone being too close to them and feeling uncomfortable.

The buildings in that area are some of the older establishments in the area. The building where Cigar Frogs is located was built in 1935. The things that have happened throughout the years in those three buildings are unknown, but one thing for sure is that paranormal activity has taken place.

Reincarnate rises to the top

Tattoos, outrageous music videos and makeup are a few things most metal bands are known for. Motionless In White has taken everyone’s expectations of them and smashed them to pieces. True, they do possess those qualities, but they’ve proven to be more than image. MIW has been busy this year touring on Vans Warped Tour, and now with A Day To Remember and Bring Me The Horizon.

Bass player, Ghost was nominated for best bassist at the first Alternative Press Music Awards, which the band attended in July. Despite their busy schedule, the band members managed to create an incredible album, titled Reincarnate. Two singles from the album, Reincarnateand Puppets 3 (The Grand Finale [Feat. Dani Filth),were released prior to the album release date. A scavenger hunt took place around the world the week before the album’s release.

Small, wooden coffins were placed in major cities around the world with one track in each. When found, tracks were streamed on a website that was set up during the hunt.The album was available in stores and on ITunesin September, along with a music video for the single, Reincarnate.Many of us “creatures” bought the album with no hesitation. The morning after Reincarnate’s release, the album was ranked number 1 on ITunes’ metal chart, number 2 in rock and number 10 overall. MIW went on to reach number one on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart.

I have listened to the album about 15 times, and I am convinced that I will never get tired or annoyed with it. I’ve been a fan of MIW ever since I heard the single Creatures and watched the brilliant music video that went along with it. I’ve seen them in concert twice and they’re true performers. They don’t disappoint, and neither did this album.

My favorite songs on the album are Death March, Unstoppable, and Everybody Sells Cocaine. The songs are so good that the hair on my arms stood up when I listened to them for the first time. The musicians and vocalists know how to make great music. The respect I have for each one of the members is unreal. All members are artists on their own, and when combined create something astounding and powerful.

They push buttons, but all great artists do. The album has 14 tracks, including a bonus track which is an acoustic version of the song Sinematic from the album Infamous.I can relate to every song on the album, and even cried once or twice.MIW’s lyrics are powerful andits music correlates perfectly.

“Eleven tracks is not enough to tell you how I’ve died inside” are lyrics from the song Creatures, and I’m thrilled that MIW provided the world with two albums and 28 more tracks to become obsessed with.

     Reincarnate has three featured artists, Dani Filth from the band Cradle of Filth, Maria Brink from In This Moment, and Tim Skold who has played guitar for other bands and artists, including Marilyn Manson. MIW has set the standards high for future and current metal bands.

The amount of intelligence and hard work that goes into every song is enough for me to add MIWto the top three of my list of favorite bands. The members of MIW understand that when there is no one to listen to or understand one’s thoughts; music is always there. Theyprovide music that comforts their listeners and helps them cope with the world when it feels like the world has turned its back on them. MIWhas made so much progress the last few years and I hope to see them become more successful.

Blood, sweat, rock and roll

Avoiding heat stroke and dehydration, going home covered in bruises, sweat (some that isn’t your own), and finding sunburns in places most people wouldn’t think possible might not be everyone’s definition of a great day. Those people have obviously never been to Vans Warped Tour. This summer, I had the privilege of experiencing all of those things twice.

Both times, I got in line between 8 and 9 a.m. General admission gates open at 11 a.m. My group and I donated $5 to the Feed The Children organization, which allowed us to get through the gates an hour before the general admission line. The organization also accepts canned good donations which allow donators to get in early as well.

People taking the donations either stamp the hands of the ones donating or give them wrist bands so they can get into a designated line. I recommend donating. Not only will you be helping a great organization, but you get to find the merchandise tents and stages you need to be at throughout the day before any bands start playing.

Bands usually hold their meet and greets at their merch tent, but some hold their signings at sponsor tents, such as Trojan and Alternative Press magazine. Finding out where signings take place early in the day helps lower the levels of panic. Sometimes you need to purchase an item from a specific band’s tent or need a wrist band, which are given to a limited number of people, in order to meet the band. Trust me, you need to find those things out quickly because items go fast.

I went to Dallas, TX and Denver, CO to shed sweat, tears and layers of makeup for some of my favorite bands. Both dates were more fun than I could have ever imagined. Though Denver’s crowds were significantly rougher than the ones in Dallas, I wouldn’t trade any hit I took to the rib cage or kick to the back of my head from a crowd surfer for anything. I was in front for every band I watched in Denver, minus one. After eleven hours, I didn’t have any fight left in me by the time the last band played.

There were more than 90 bands playing, and I saw 13 of them. I didn’t get to watch every band play that I wanted because some of my favorites were scheduled to go on stage at the same time on different stages, or their set times were really close together. Choosing between bands was one of the most heartbreaking decisions I’ve ever had to make. Sorry Atilla, Breathe Carolina, and Crown The Empire for skipping out.

My favorite performers by far, were Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White, Icon For Hire, Issues, The Summer Set, Scare Don’t Fear, The Ready Set and Of Mice & Men. They all had incredible stage presence and put everything they had into each song they played. The crowds were vastly different for each of those bands. I thought I broke a rib and was going to collapse in the crowd for Motionless In White, while in the crowd for The Summer Set I was smiling ear to ear while forming the shape of a heart with my hands, along with everyone else.

Not only did I get to watch outstanding bands play, I got to meet a couple of them. I met Scare Don’t Fear while I was in Denver, and met Jeffree Star in Dallas, as well as Shawn Jump and Ariel Bloomer from Icon For Hire. They were all humble and friendly. It’s an indescribable feeling to hug and take pictures with someone most people only get to see in music videos.

Despite dreams coming true and being too excited to function properly, the heat was enough to knock me down from cloud nine. My sister and I spent over $30 on water alone. There was a refill station available that allowed guests to fill water bottles for free, but the lines were ridiculous, so we bought water bottles from venders.

Along with heat comes sun, and as the pasty white person I am, sunburns were unpreventable. I left both dates with second degree burns and blisters, despite reapplying sunscreen every three hours. I lasted the entire 12 hours in Dallas without sitting down to rest or take a break, but in Denver I laid in the grass next to lots of strangers who apparently couldn’t walk anymore without feeling faint either.  I had never had to shotgun water until that day.

There were girls dripping hair dye onto their shoulders and shirts, people at the back of crowds in wheelchairs and on crutches, and I saw a few people pass out. The amount of fans who fought through the heat, mosh pits and lines just to see their favorite bands and artists was incredible to see. The crowds are like one big family which understands why everyone else is there. We all connect and appreciate the bands for what they do. We’re all there for the music and our bands. The songs have touched something in our hearts that no one else ever has, and for the first time, we feel as if someone understands us.

Bands show support and acceptance that the rest of the world doesn’t. It would only be fair to give that support and acceptance back by singing along to every one of their songs and screaming from the top of our lungs. Vans Warped Tour has been active for 20 years and is still going strong. I encourage everyone to go at least once. You won’t regret it, I promise.

MC offers creative program for aspiring student writers.

For students interested in learning the art of creative writing, or seeking to expand their skills, Midland College offers a class that teaches students how to revise, edit and write short stories. There are two courses available.

“The faculty is made up of many creative writers,” said Brendan Egan, who teaches fiction and dramatic writing, including screen- and playwriting. “We offer a normal and advanced class simultaneously.”

Poetry is also an option for students enrolled in the course and is taught by MC English professors, Glenda Hicks and Karen Pape.

“It’s a good place to come if you’ve already done some writing before and you just want to be part of a group who enjoys the same thing,” Pape said. “If you’ve had this little idea that you may be creative, and I think all of us are.

If you’ve had this itch to write, this kind of idea that you would like to explore writing or see how it’s done and experiment with it for a while, this is a great place to start.”

The genres of poetry taught by Pape are “what some people call open form, I call free verse and I do a little bit of formal poetry as well,” she said.

“We’ve all read poetry and some of us have already written poetry, but we need to read about the basics and apply them as we write,” Pape said.

The writing course is mainly offered online, but can be taken on campus during the fall semester.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s enjoyable to engage in a different kind of writing,” Egan said.

The class is worth three credit hours and students are able to register through the MC website or in the registration office on campus. The class is described as “informative and empowering” by Egan.

There are contests for creative writing students who want to submit any of their work, including the Rebecca T. Watson and Hilda Simmons Levitt contests.

The Watson contest accepts poetry, essays and short stories, while the Levitt contest is strictly for poetry.

“Hilda Simmons Levitt is wonderful. It has good prizes and the students are judged by a professional poet, usually one who’s been published,” Pape said. Winners of the contests receive plaques, certificates and possibly money.

Troy Lira, an MC student who has taken Egan’s creative writing class said, “It’s beneficial, especially if you’re a writer or even an artist in general to give you more perspective on being creative, being spontaneous. I took creative writing because I enjoy writing essays and thought it would be cool to learn how to write more short stories.”

The class helped his musical pursuits. “I gained more confidence as a writer. It actually helped me in my music to write clearly, more creatively, more expressive,” Lira said.

His experience with Egan as an English instructor was one of the main reasons Lira took the class. “I loved the guy. He’s great,” he said.

The class has been part of the English department for years, but Egan said the instructors are making a push to expand the creative writing program.

The instructors who teach the classes are eager to gain more students so that they can help them improve in areas in which they wish to excel.

The creative writing program encourages anyone with a passion for expressing ideas or who desire a career in the writing field to enroll.


MC Students Have Rights.

Midland College students possess rights and responsibilities to help them succeed and feel comfortable while attending the school, according to Rita Nell Diffie, vice president of student services.

The MC catalog, which is available on the MC website, lists the obligations and rights of students granted by the college’s Board of Trustees.

If a student has a complaint or question involving his or her rights as an MC student, he or she is directed to report to the Student Services office located in the Scharbauer Student Center. “There are all kinds of reasons they (students) might have a complaint,” Diffie said. “It could be an academic issue, it could be a student involvement issue, it could be a residential life issue. There are all types of things.”

Due process includes all the rights of a student involving discrimination, disciplinary action, final grades and denial of admission.

A student experiencing any difficulty with due process should report to the SS office so that he or she can be assisted in taking the next step.

“You can always come to me,” Diffie said. “That’s not an issue at all. I am always open to help any student.”

Due process may involve a hearing if the student feels it is necessary. “Some (students) have already made all the steps,” Diffie said. “They’ve gone to the instructor, they’ve gone to the dean and they’re still not satisfied and then they come to me. I can walk them through what a due process hearing involves.”

During a hearing, a student and the opposing party have the chance to tell their side of the story to a neutral panel who will then make the determination on whether there needs to be a change or if the results should stand they currently are.

The panel members ask both parties questions before any decision is made.

Students are granted an advocate who will prepare them for the hearing.

For a student having a problem with a grade, he or she may be able to receive an appeal.

“The grade appeal is very similar to the other (due) process,” Diffie said. “If a student is having a problem with a grade, they might want to talk to the instructor first.”

There are students who are aware of their rights and do seek assistance when a problem occurs.

“I like the idea that if I’m not happy with a grade, I am able to sit down and talk to the professor about it,” said MC Student Marla Wilson. “But if they won’t cooperate, I can go to the dean and actually get something accomplished.”

Other issues concern students.

“I feel that since I’m in college, I should be able to voice my opinion (in and out of class) without getting in trouble for it,” Wilson said. “You also get to wear what you want.”

Students who live in the residence halls plead for less strict check-in times and possible possession of pets.

“We get to leave whenever we want, but we shouldn’t have to check in after a certain time,” Wilson said. “Some of the students neglect to clean their rooms as it is, so I’m okay with not having pets because I know some students wouldn’t take care of them the way they need to be.” hand book pic color

Rockers Bring More Than Shock to the Stage.

Bleeding on stage, wearing jaw-dropping outfits, bringing animals on stage and making most parents cover their children’s eyes is what some people think of when the term “shock rock” is mentioned.

Though some, if not all of those actions do occur, the artists have meaning behind what they do. The thematic imagery is just part of who the artists are and how they feel they can express their song meanings.

The most popularly-known shock rockers include Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper. Watching any of their music videos or concerts might make some cringe, and most likely take offense to an action or image that was used.

Though the artists are infamous for causing havoc and shock, they have some of the largest and most loyal fan bases in the music business.

The rockers encourage fans and listeners to be themselves and to not be ashamed of who they are or what they’ve done. Their music is an escape for their fans and allows them to feel understood and less alone.

The song lyrics of these artists are relatable to people all around the world.

A celebrity who shows vulnerability and real emotions is something not common in today’s music industry, which is mostly run by pop stars with low-cut dresses and dingy personalities who don’t write their own lyrics.

It takes a true artist to write a song and envision how he or she wants to perform it for a crowd and even more of an artist to bring those visions to life. Shock rockers take action in making their visions real on stage or in a video.

They bring so much to the table with their talent, dreams and passion, and they are able to incorporate all of that into one performance.

The thematic elements aren’t just to get attention, the artists actually have thought and meaning behind what they do during a performance.

A performance for them usually tells a story and displays the song(s) being sung the way they want others to see it. Their performances are also more entertaining to watch than an annoying girl at the MTV awards not hitting her notes.

For fans, listening to the music by their favorite shock artist makes them feel good. It’s a comfortable feeling to listen to a song and not be in awe because of stupid lyrics like, “quack quack to a duck and a chicken too. Put the hyena in a freakin’ zoo.” It’s refreshing to know that not all singers are air heads.

Shock rock is important to the music industry because it represents what music is all about. Freedom of expression, performing, entertaining and risk-taking are not easy things to accomplish, but they are made to look worth it when someone is gaining fame, publicity and support. It doesn’t matter if an artist is wearing a red leather jumpsuit with thigh high boots, even if the artist is a man.

As long as they are making an effort to make their dreams come true, their fans feel encouraged to follow their dreams as well, which is important when wanting to live a happy and successful life.

It takes courage and confidence to do what is in your heart and mind. It takes a brave person to know that what they are doing is going to be frowned upon. It takes a strong person to ignore all of the outrageous, bizarre rumors that have been spread about them as they continue doing what they love.

Shock rock isn’t as fast growing as pop or rap music, but the rockers can rest assured that if they never back down from their beliefs, they will still remain loved and supported.

Attendance Affects Grades.

Tests, projects, homework and essays are the majority of what students have to complete to earn an A in a class, but a grade can be lowered if he or she misses more than a few days of class.

Professors set rules and guidelines for their students to follow and attendance is one of the most important, according to some of Midland College’s professors.

MC speech professor Katherine Allen bases less than 10 percent of her grading on attendance and participation. Students are expected to attend class on a regular basis, unless a conflict occurs.

“I allow three on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday class and two on a Tuesday, Thursday,” Allen said.

“It is up to the professors as to what percentage of their final grade comes from participation,” said MC professor Mindy Flowers. For some professors, participation grades differ depending on the class.

“When I taught kinesiology activity courses, I counted attendance more because it was an activity course,” Flowers said. “In my lecture courses I count about 20 percent of the final grade on attendance and participation.”

Professors are allowed to set their own attendance requirements, but deans have a say in policy, along with access to all of the syllabi. Allen said deans could point out potential problems to professors.

There are benefits of attendance being mandatory for MC students. “It encourages them to be conscientious about their attendance and helps them realize that they are in control,” Allen said.

Flowers agrees.

“Lectures, activities, discussions all benefit the students. So, if the students are in class, they are benefitted by being present,” she said. “Students are paying for the class, so each time they miss a class, they are just throwing the money away.”

There are students who find the attendance regulation beneficial as well. “One is more motivated to show up. If you don’t do the work, you don’t see the benefits. The same goes for attendance,” said MC student Sarah Sherpa.

Professors do understand that illness and emergencies can emerge, but also feel that they have given students enough days to miss so that they can handle problems that may occur. “Sometimes people do get sick,” Allen said.

“There may be a family emergency or they might have an appointment with a doctor and that (allowed absences) gives the opportunity to take care of that.”

Students are expected to be in class so that they can obtain all of the information given by the professor. “The way I teach is very interactive,” Allen said. “Interaction between students allows them to get to know each other better and practice their communication skills and hopefully feel more comfortable when it gets to the point where they have to stand in front of the class.”

There are also negative effects to having a set amount of absent days allowed.

“The main negative is for students who work full time and/or have other obligations such as family that makes it hard for them to attend class full time,” Flowers said. There are reasons as to why some students find it acceptable to skip class.

A lot of times people think that the teachers aren’t as serious as they appear in class,” Sherpa said. “Even for me, it’s hard to always be serious in class.”

Professors calculate all students’ grades, including participation, because the professors agreed they believe a student has to be in class to fully understand the assignments and want them to be prepared for any assignment in the future.